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Celtics 108, Wizards 83

Sorry for the late posting but I was having issues with the blog application last night. Obviously, the score pretty much sums it up. The Wizards were blasted in every way imaginable by a C's team that was not happy after losing three of four on a recent road trip.

In two games against the C's, the Wiz have lost by 59 points. So much for that domination last season. Then again, all you had to do to understand the difference was look at the Wiz sideline where Gilbert Arenas, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson wore suits. Also, Andray Blatche rolled his ankle in the first half and did not return (I'll have an update on him later).

- The only good to come out of the game is that Javaris Crittenton finally got some extended run. I've been saying for a while and I'll keep saying it: this team has to find out what exacctly it has in its young players going into a huge summer.

Crittenton was energetic and just lookekd a lot more comfortable out there. I liked the way he pushed the ball in transition. He finished with five points, four assists, four rebounds and two turnovers in 21 minutes.

- Caron Butler, who started and played 32 minutes after missing three games with a sprained left ankle, said the ankle held up well and didn't think he'd have any ill effects today.

- Just an overall strange feeling being up here. Two years ago, the atmosphere at TD Banknorth Garden was dead and you couldn't find anyone around game time in green and white. It was all Red Sox and Pats gear. Now, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce jerseys for everyone and the atmosphere is electric. Guess Boston fans should thank Kevin McHale for that huh?

By Ivan Carter  |  January 3, 2009; 8:10 AM ET
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Next: Blatche update


"The only good to come out of the game is that Javaris Crittenton finally got some extended run."

About time, and it's a shame that he did only because Stevenson is hurt.

The Wiz aren't going anywhere, Crits needs to play.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | January 3, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

I agree about JC. I love JD, but its time for him to sit down and for JC to get 20 minutes per game. And JC needs to get those minutes with CB and AJ in the game. The 2 turnovers JC had were because the guys he threw the pass to werent looking or couldnt handle it.

Posted by: oddjob2 | January 3, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Huge Summer? Hasn't Ernie Grunfeld locked the Wizards into this mess until at least the summer of 2012? The Arenas contract is going to make it difficut to sign Caron Butler in 2011.

Posted by: SteveC28 | January 3, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

THE WORST GAME under Tapscott - no effort, no cohesiveness as a team, just guys playing pickup with guys they have not played with before. The middle was an open door that anyone could go through; consistently outmuscled (I remember one time under the basket there only Celtics there for their offensive rebound) - just a terrible waste of time to watch except for Critterdin (?) he may be something.

Posted by: h20law2000 | January 3, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse


I really like what little I have seen of JC. I'll be the first to admit if I'm wrong, but I think this guy is gonna be Damn Good! I think he is already better than James right now. I say with this team, he should play more, now.


If ETAPS is learning on the job, then why not everybody else.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 3, 2009 12:32 AM

Yea Ivan, JC should be playing a lot more. It looks like he has a natural instinct fot UpTemPo ball, which the Wizs sorely need.

Question is: Does ETaps want to play UpTemPo?

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 3, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I think JCs got it. He is smart. He is team first. That is rare.

You are crazy to keep this guy on the bench.

You have found your point guard.


Did I mention he wants to Run' the Ball'.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 2, 2009 8:30 PM

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 3, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Ivan: "I've been saying for awhile and I'll keep saying it: this team has to find out what exacctly it has in its young players".

I haven't heard it that much and it certainly hasn't sunk in with the Wizards management.

Reporters dig for facts. It would be nice to know what Abe, EG and Taps think about this matter, and whether they coordinate their approach to the matter.

On a related point, why can't Crit, Young, Mac, Blatche and McGee get some uninterrupted time on the court together? The fans need some entertainment after watching Stevenson, Thomas, Songolia and other vets having great difficulty on the floor this year.

Posted by: Izman | January 3, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

If 1-10 is 'unacceptable' for Grunfeld and led to Jordan's firing, when is 6-25 unacceptable enough to lead to Grunfeld's firing? I've watched 75% of Wiz/Bullets games going back to 1981, and this is by far the worst, least inspired and downright boring product this franchise has put on the floor. It ill-advisedly let its biggest star rehab a major knee injury on his own terms, and when it led to - surprise - more knee problems, rewarded him with a gigantic contract that makes it impossible for the Wiz to sign any major free agents for years. It put all its eggs in Arenas' basket despite said star publicly saying that he never wants to be a team leader and complaining that coaches place too much emphasis on defense. To those who say you can not judge the team without Arenas, I say the team's mishandling of his rehab is why there is no Arenas. I say the team knew he would be injured this year or was at least a huge injury risk, and signed him anyway, and is thus directly responsible for this lousy product we see on the floor. Those hopeful that the Wiz will magically become a contender when he returns, remember that he has had three major surgeries on his knee. His great gift is speed, and is the type of player such injuries inhibit the most. He has also not played basketball hardly at all for two years. It takes a long time to rebuild a skill set at this elite level, and you can count him out next year as an elite guard as well even if his knee does heal. Grunfeld made a bold move in resigning Arenas this offseason, threw his dice and lost. Now he has to pay the house and leave. Tapscott, stop trying to pad your resume by overplaying the vets in the hope that we can string together a couple of two-string victories. I know you were hired to win to make your buddy Grunfeld look better, but a few more meaningless victories will only prevent us from getting a true franchise player in the upcoming draft, while inhibiting the development of our younger players, who, anyway, are more entertaining to watch than D-Song, Jamison, Butler, Stevenson, etc. heave 25-foot jumpers from the wings.

Posted by: SammyT1 | January 3, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Everyone whining to play Pecherov got their wish today and he still TOTALLY SUCKS. He let Boston finish at the rim at least EIGHT times while he was playing the 5. He committed 5 fouls in 10 minutes. He is absolutely clueless on the defensive end. He is by far the worst player on the roster and does not deserve minutes. Wiz need to send him to the D-League for the entire season and let him play 30+ minutes per game.

At this point, the best-case scenario is for him to become a 3-point specialist like a Matt Bullard or Pat Garrity type. I can't imagine him ever being anything better. He can't play the 5 spot unless their is a bull of a 4 playing with him because he can't guard his shadow in the paint and barely fights for rebounds. He looks completely lost and generally awkward on both ends of the floor. The ONLY thing he can do with reasonable skill is hoist up an uncontested 3.

For the longterm development of the team, Pecherov should never get any minutes over McGee.

Posted by: Henchlow | January 3, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Pech is clearly not going to make this team better or worse because his specialized skill doesn't fit into what we do here. I think we have a winning formula so I'll lay off the 'Free Pech' stuff. I still believe that he has a place in this league, though. He just turned 23, is tall, has the ability to shoot and can rebound. Someone could take these base abilities and make a player out of him. I'm convinced. I don't think it'll be us, though. I'd like to see him on a team like the Knicks. On a team that generates lots of rebounds (because of the style of play enforced on the opponent) and that shoots 3's, Pech could be a player. He's being bashed because he was so poor defensively but Phil and Buck said he's been battling the flu. He's also had NO pt so he's not in game shape. 6 points and 3 rebounds in 10 minutes is respectable to me considering he hasn't played in so long. He looked bad because of the fouls but he was matched up against Powe for a while. Why match up a sick slow guy who is out of shape against a quick PF? He was at a disadvantage at the jump. Anyway, I'm still not convinced Pech is a bust and though he didn't look great, he didn't look like he didn't belong in the league to me.

As far as the game goes, we played the team with the best defense in the league at their home after they'd just gotten home after a bad road trip without our starting Center for most of the game.

Take any team in the league under those circumstances and they'd lose. ANY TEAM. I'll just chalk this up as another that we were just not going to win. I don't take any lessons away from this game besides one....

Javaris can definitely play. He needs to be the first pg off the bench after James and I'd be ok with him eventually taking James' minutes as the season goes on. He has ball skills and it's very obvious. Anyone who really knows basketball can see that this kid, with the right coaching and development, could be a very good player. From the few minutes that I saw him, I can tell that he looks to pass, can get anywhere he wants to on the floor because of his handle, is quick and sees the court very well.

He actually reminded me a little bit of Derrick Rose with his ability to go by people. He may not have that same speed but he's not too far behind and he has some real ballhandling skills. I'm actually higher on him now that JM and I'm a big JM fan. I need to see if he can shoot but if ever gets that together he has the potential to be special.

Posted by: original_mark | January 3, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

It would be nice to know what Abe, EG and Taps think about this matter, and whether they coordinate their approach to the matter.

Posted by: Izman | January 3, 2009 10:31 AM


No one in this organization cares about winning! ABE does not as long as the team makes a profit. EG and Taps are making great paychecks while the country is in a deep recession. The players like AJ and Gil who resigned just took the money. For all of them it is just about the MONEY! The only way things will ever change is if the fans quit giving their hard earned money to this CHEAP LOSING organization and force the old man to sell the team to an owner who wants to WIN.

Good players want to play for an organization where the owner is willing to do whatever is necessary to win and that means going over the luxury cap like Detroit did by resigning McDyess.

It all starts at the top!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 3, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Pecherov is a D league player at best, this speaks to Ernie Grunfeld's knowledge concerning Euro players which is obviously lacking(wow that's surprising)ETAPS looks lost during timeout's and it must be hell for player's like Antwan and Caron to have to listen to Wes jr.and Taps and take direction, and practice's must be an outright joke.Here's an idea lets say we win the ping pong ball extravaganza we take Blake Griffin trade him for Kevin Durant(homeboy) that way Griffin gets to play in front of his home college crowd, and we throw in Etan to take some money off the books, hell throw in Pech too. what do you think? hey i'm desperate.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 3, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Rickyyyyyyyyy Rubiooooooooooo

Posted by: Good2bOK | January 3, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm tired of listening to the same "abe is cheap" argument. it's speculative and unsubstantiated.

and it ignores the fact that any good businessperson realizes that the best way to make money is to win a championship. That the only way we'll become more than a second tier basketball market is to create a dynasty.

maybe you disagree with the way they're going about it, i can respect that. but i've had enough of the same complaint repeated ad nauseaum.

Posted by: crs-one | January 3, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I can go for a trade and hopefully a good draft choice or two.

But I like putting the horse in front of the cart.

And right now, any trades or prospects, must be followed by first and foremost, a coach that knows what he is doing.

Trades and prospects and a healthy team might bring us more wins, but with this coaching, we will not get anywhere close to a championship.

Ernie G. must know this, but I ask myself, why is he not, or does not have that coach on-board right now? Why?

I certainly hope the answer is not what 78 says, that we are CHEAP!


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 3, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I could not agree more that this year is about the young guys, it is time for everyone under 25 to start logging big minutes, nick young for instance scored 15 last night but only saw 17 minutes and most came far after the game had been decided. songaila, etan and juan are all guys we know, we understand exactly what they are capable and incapable of doing, now it is time to force feed the young guys minutes. Tap looks like he's not coaching for the future, granted he will not be around next year, but you still have to coach the team in a manner that is best for the squad down the line. javale, crit, dom, nick, blatche, pech all need to see a legitimate amount of action, there is no point in continuing to run caron and antawn ragged, we need to develop the youngsters, this will be much more valuable for the team's future and integrating them appropriately will win games now. Songaila gives you nothing defensively and should never play the five, blatche going down should have meant mcgee getting at least 25 but instead he saw ten and inexplicably was watching for most of the fourth when the game was out of hand, how does he not spend as much time on the floor as possible when the game is out of reach? you're too scared to play him while the game is still up for grabs, he should at least be given garbage time, we need him, as is obvious with our zero center approach. crit should begin getting consideration for a starting role, james is the same man off of the bench and if crit shows us anything like a true point guard we should thank the heavens. Blatche going down is a killer, even out of position he was performing admirably and certainly giving the hustle that people questioned repeatedly. If blatche is out, Javale really needs to start and play starters minutes, heck even with blatche we need this. Newly amended lineup 1. crit 2.caron 3. dom 4. blatche/jamison 5. mcgee I'm a huge proponent of giving jamison a 6th man role where he would excel, like in dallas(6th man of the year) and his defensive deficiencies would be somewhat mitigated, he doesn't need 40 minutes, his numbers will drop slightly but his value to the team,or any other, will increase. jamison, young and james/dixon would get significant time off the pine with pech/song/etan fighting for time, i'd go pech

Posted by: bford1kb | January 3, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

It all starts at the top, look at what Bush and Cheney did to this country, look at what the CEO of GM did to that company, look at the Enron scandal, and look at losing NBA clubs. All good organizations (in any field) understand what it takes to succeed in their particular business.

This is a different world then back in 1978 when the Bullets won a championship. Free agency has changed the way teams operate. ABE is still running the team the same way he did back then. My views are not personal attacks, I do not know the man personally, and all I do is look at successful NBA teams and see the difference in the way they are run.

Yes, if a team gets lucky and drafts a guy like Dwight Howard, Tim Duncan and/or Lebron James they can fill the team with average role players and win.

Look at Boston, Detroit, LA, and Dallas they all were willing to take chances by making trades because they were not satisfied with being a 500 ball club. Some times in life you need to take a step back to get ahead. Resigning AJ and Gilbert was not a move to take this team to the next level, the team already knew what they could do (get to the first round). They resigned them because it got season ticket holders to renew their tickets and put fans in the seats to make a profit.

crs-one winning a championship does not necessarily make the owner more money if he exceeds the luxury cap.

Larry I hate to be the one to tell everyone this (that is why people on here do not like what I have to say), but the only reason EG replaced EJ with someone who has a losing college record, was because he was already on the payroll. That to me smells like cheap.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 3, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Player development has been the problem for the past several years with undefined roles, misappropriation of minutes based on chemistry with the coach rather than effort and talent, and ridiculous rotations. If anybody but a marquee coach a la Avery Johnson gets the coach, every one of us should stand up to this culture of mediocrity and call for Grunfeld and Pollins heads.

Posted by: emmet1 | January 3, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Observation: With Blatche out, OPEC played 9:36 and McGee played 10:53. That's the OPEC that has played 47 minutes this season. I am collecting donations for a six month vacation for the entire Wizards coaching staff, starting now.

Posted by: emmet1 | January 3, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Larry I hate to be the one to tell everyone this (that is why people on here do not like what I have to say), but the only reason EG replaced EJ with someone who has a losing college record, was because he was already on the payroll. That to me smells like cheap.

Make sense to me. After going to the playoff 4 years straight then getting booted after a 1 - 10 start makes no sense and I am not a EJ fan. I am truly hoping it's true that Abe will hand over the team to Ted at the end of the season.

Question: as far as management, does anyone think they are afraid or kissing up to Arenas? I mean the guy told them to sign Stevson and Jamison before he would sign. If this the case, we need management with balls to run the team not a Bplayer.

Posted by: demonj21 | January 3, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Some good points made about Crittenton. He's fast, he's got court vision, he seems comfortable on the break. Nice to have a tall guy handling the ball -- been a while.

A little reality: He wasn't as good in a half-court set. He looked lost on defense. Where's the jump shot?

He looks about a year away to me. Maybe a year and a half. But promising.

You have to wonder why young players like this leave college for the NBA. He'd be a lot more advanced if he'd spent another season or two at Georgia Tech playing against ACC competition.

Just the money, I guess. Can you blame'em?

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Good call demonj21. Perhaps it makes no difference if they fire Grunfeld, as Arenas appears to be making the personnel decisions anyway.

Posted by: SammyT1 | January 3, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I would like to see Crit play more. He can handle the ball, but I haven't seen a jump shot yet. His foul shots did not look clean. He will gain confidence by playing. Dixon has had two straight flat games, but I would continue to use him. With Stevenson out, all of the guards have a chance to play. Where was the defense? The Celts had at least 20 uncontested layups and dunks. I like AJ, but I do not understand how he can be so bad as a defensive player. I would like to play Crit and Juan together and NY and Mike together to give a vet and rookie on each 5. I would like to see NY get a few more assists. Look at the stats with the Celts.
Shooting % 55/38, assists 31/22, free throws 78%/68%. I thought McGee could have slowed the layup/dunk parade. The defense was a disgrace. Play the young guys as a tandem so they can get to know each other moves, etc. I would still like to bring in an entire 5 and let them play together like the starters do, like North Carolina did.

Posted by: bailey5 | January 3, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

"Observation: With Blatche out, OPEC played 9:36 and McGee played 10:53. That's the OPEC that has played 47 minutes this season. I am collecting donations for a six month vacation for the entire Wizards coaching staff, starting now.

Posted by: emmet1 | January 3, 2009 2:30 PM "


10 min

6 pts

5 fouls

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 3, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

"Larry I hate to be the one to tell everyone this (that is why people on here do not like what I have to say), but the only reason EG replaced EJ with someone who has a losing college record, was because he was already on the payroll. That to me smells like cheap."

Of all the teams that have fired coaches so far this season, how many of them gave the interim job to someone other than somebody who was already on the payroll? None, that's how many. That's just how it works. Teams that fire coaches in mid-(or, in this case, early) almost never replace him with an outside hire. They use the remainder of the season to evaluate the team and the situation and put together a strategy to go after a full-time hire in the offseason. That's just the way it works. "Cheap" has nothing to do with it.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 4, 2009 4:27 AM | Report abuse

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